Mormon Stories - LDS

10401436_10153066297053798_1624481439957468610_nCarson Calderwood is an LDS dentist and father of four living in Maple Valley, Washington.  He served an LDS mission in Argentina, married his wife, Marisa, in an LDS temple, recently served as an LDS seminary teacher in Maple valley for two years, and served faithfully in the LDS church for almost two decades.  After experiencing significant questions and doubts a few years go, Carson realized how many local LDS church members were struggling over matters of faith, and began trying to help local members of his ward and stake find joy and healing amidst their LDS faith crises.

After showing public support for Ordain Women, and after publicly expressing his doubts about several LDS church truth claims (e.g., polygamy, polyandry, Book of Mormon and Abraham historicity), Carson is now being charged with apostasy by the LDS Church, and by his Maple Valley, Washington stake president.  A disciplinary council for Carson is set to be scheduled within the next few days or weeks.  

This is Carson's story, wherein he explains why he objects to LDS disciplinary councils for apostasy, and why he would prefer to be excommunicated than to resign his LDS membership and walk away quietly.

Direct download: MormonStories-528-CarsonCalderwood.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:07am MST

Mormon Stories alumnus John Hamer returns to talk about Community of Christ as a viable spiritual home for transitioning Mormons in this two-part video series.  John Hamer was raised LDS, but became a doubting teenager and left organized religion altogether as an adult.  In 2010, he joined Community of Christ and currently serves as pastor of its congregation in downtown Toronto, Canada.  
 
In part 1, John Hamer sits down with John Dehlin and makes the case for "non-literalistic" religion.  (The presentation is illustrated with John Hamer's amazing diagrams, so the podcast audience is advised to watch the YouTube version.)  John Hamer describes how a church with Restoration roots has evolved beyond doctrine and dogma to become inclusive of the LGBT community and a wide diversity of individual beliefs.  
 
In part 2, John Dehlin challenges John Hamer with tough questions, including whether it is possible for some transitioning Mormons who feel real betrayal to join a church that traces its origin to Joseph Smith, or, indeed, any organized religion.  The resulting dialogue was wide-ranging and intensely fascinating.  Regardless of where you are in your own Mormon journey, you'll surely find John Hamer's case for Community of Christ thought-provoking. 
 
In the course of their discussions, John Hamer referenced the "Latter-day Seekers" facebook group and the website Latter-daySeekers.org. 
Direct download: MormonStories-527-JohnHamerCofCPt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:13pm MST

Mormon Stories alumnus John Hamer returns to talk about Community of Christ as a viable spiritual home for transitioning Mormons in this two-part video series.  John Hamer was raised LDS, but became a doubting teenager and left organized religion altogether as an adult.  In 2010, he joined Community of Christ and currently serves as pastor of its congregation in downtown Toronto, Canada.  
 
In part 1, John Hamer sits down with John Dehlin and makes the case for "non-literalistic" religion.  (The presentation is illustrated with John Hamer's amazing diagrams, so the podcast audience is advised to watch the YouTube version.)  John Hamer describes how a church with Restoration roots has evolved beyond doctrine and dogma to become inclusive of the LGBT community and a wide diversity of individual beliefs.  
 
In part 2, John Dehlin challenges John Hamer with tough questions, including whether it is possible for some transitioning Mormons who feel real betrayal to join a church that traces its origin to Joseph Smith, or, indeed, any organized religion.  The resulting dialogue was wide-ranging and intensely fascinating.  Regardless of where you are in your own Mormon journey, you'll surely find John Hamer's case for Community of Christ thought-provoking. 
 
In the course of their discussions, John Hamer referenced the "Latter-day Seekers" facebook group and the website Latter-daySeekers.org. 
Direct download: MormonStories-526-JohnHamerCofCPt1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:11pm MST

In this episode, co-released with Mormon Stories, Wendy Williams MontgomeryJohn Dehlin, and Dan Wotherspoon speak about the difficult dynamics at play in discussing with loved ones, whether family, friends, or ward members, about differences in faith positions after one party or another has shifted. In contrast with the types of challenges presented to people by “outsiders” to their faith, a change in stance and the new worldview presented by those who were once in sync with you (or at least perceived to be in sync) can be far more devastating. Their shifts often feel very personal, a rejection of something we hold most dear. And they have no excuse! They once knew what we know and now challenge and say they are seeing more clearly or experiencing something else more richly? For those who are the ones who have shifted, a loved one’s negative reactions to that person’s change also can feel quite personal. Why don’t they trust me that I’m on a good path, that I have information or insights that open the world to me in new ways? Why are they choosing stubbornness and clinging to ideology and dogma over really exploring and staying in close relationship with me no matter where my faith journey takes me?

How can we see these and other dynamics more clearly? What is “our” responsibility as those who have been the one whose perspectives have shifted? How can both parties better understand the challenges of this situation and learn to have compassion for each other? What are key virtues needed in such relationships? What are some “dos” and “don’ts” for negotiating this difficult interpersonal terrain?

Please listen and then share your stories and insights in the comments section below!

Direct download: MormonStories-525-WotherspoonSpeakingAboutFaithDiff.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:54am MST

Direct download: John-Dehlin-Excommunication-Appeal-Letter-FINAL-NoAddress.pdf
Category:general -- posted at: 1:53pm MST

Jedediah Rogers discusses the history of Joseph Smith's "Council of 50" with J. Jed-head-231x300Nelson-Seawright. Jed is a co-editor of the Utah Historical Quarterly and the Senior State Historian at the Utah Division of State History. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brigham Young University and received his doctorate at Arizona State University in 2011. Recently, Jed was the editor of the Signature Book documentary, The Council of 50 - A Documentary History.

The Council of 50 was formed in Nauvoo in 1844 by Joseph Smith Jr. The council provided a pattern for political government through priesthood authority and revelation. “It was, to its members, the nucleus or focus of God’s latter-day kingdom”

Direct download: 524__Jedediah_Rogers_Discusses_Council_of_50.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:03pm MST

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